Whether your mother is in her prime of life or elderly, finding the right gift is always challenging. She is your most important extended family member, so why is it so hard to find her the perfect gift?
It will not do any good to ask- most will just say they don’t need anything! This is partly true, as people who are in their retirement stage of life are downsizing, and trying to get rid of things!
This year, consider the following suggestions. You will not be able to order these gifts online or call to have them delivered, but both you and your mother will be enriched with these treasures.
Do you have a memory from childhood that just keeps coming back? It may be about a time when your mother did or said something hurtful to you. If you cannot forget it, you have an emotional wound in your heart.
Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to offer forgiveness. Your mom may not even remember the incident, because people remember things from their own perspective. So even if she denies hurting you, forgive her anyway. Remember that she has always loved you, even when you did stupid and unforgiveable things!
At this time in your life, you may be better educated and knowledgeable than your mother. She may be becoming more dependent because of health or even mental lapses.
This a great opportunity to show your mother respect, she will appreciate it more than you can imagine. Remember, she is aware of her deficiencies, and embarrassed by them.
Your respect will remind her that she is still the most important person in the room to you! It does not hurt to remind yourself that without her, you would not exist.
Along with respect, help your mom preserve the dignity of her personhood. This is especially true of elderly women who are in nursing homes.
Sometimes they are allowed very few personal things. Make sure that she has a few treasures from her life, especially those that remind her that she is loved. Can you arrange periodic visits from her long time hairdresser?
Keeping her hair and nails groomed will help her maintain her dignity. The more comfortable clothing she needs can still be attractive- like fashionably warmup suits. These work well even in wheel chairs!
Listen patiently as Mom tells the same stories from your childhood. The past is more pleasant for many elderly than the present. Older people have better recall of the past, and in dementia, their short term memory is not as strong as the past.
Ask her about her childhood. You many learn things you never knew, and she will enjoy reliving her favorite moments. Bring along your children so they can hear Grandma’s stories as well!
Does your mom have a talent that she can teach you? Your mother will be thrilled to be reminded that she still can be useful.
Ask her to teach you and her granddaughters to knit or crochet. Or does she know how to play a card game that you never learned?
Give her the gift of feeling useful by asking her to teach you. You will gain a new talent, and your Mother will be thrilled that you believe that something she knows how to do is valuable to you.
Forgiveness, respect, dignity, listening, and usefulness are precious gifts that only you can give. Take advantage of the years you have left to honor your mother by giving these gifts wrapped with a hug.